Susana: How long have you been writing?
Elsa: I love to read and I read just about anything but I’m a sucker for a happy ending. I’ve always loved reading romances and when I “met” the classic authors like Jane Austen, Mrs. Gaskell, Henry James, the Brontë sisters, George Eliot, etc. while studying, I was hooked for life.
I entered an Afrikaans romance competition in 2008 and was fortunate enough to win it. The prize was having my story published. Since then I’ve published ten Afrikaans romances, one English romance and the second one, Touched to the Heart, has just been published.
Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Susana: Are you working on something at present that you would like to tell us about?
Elsa: I’m working on what I hope would be the next book in the series that started with Touched to the Heart. The four Cavallo brothers own and manage boutique hotels in South Africa, London and in the Seychelles. Don’s story is told in Touched to the Heart and I’m now working on Dale’s story.
Susana: What is your work schedule like when writing?
Elsa: On a good day I try to write at least 3 000 words. ‘A good day’ is what I hope to have every day but unfortunately life happens in between—the washing has to be done, hubby wants to eat, I have to see my grandkids, etc. When I begin with a story, I know the characters, have a vague idea of what will happen but then the story kind of writes itself after a time. When I get to the point where I don’t have to think about what I’m writing, I know it’s going to work. But that normally only happens towards the end.
Susana: If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming project, where would you mostly likely want to go? Why?
Elsa: Oh, to Tuscany, of course! I live in South Africa, a beautiful country, but there is just something about the Italian lifestyle that gets to me – probably the food. I love to eat!
Susana: Do you have a favorite quote or saying?
Elsa: There is one quote that has helped me through the ups and downs of life—”this too shall pass.” It somehow reduces even the worst of times to the small incident you’ll eventually recognise it to be – one that has to end at some point.
Susana: Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, would you consider straying outside your genre?
Elsa: At the moment I only write contemporary romance. I’ve tried my hand at an inspirational story in Afrikaans, which will be published next year. Paranormal stories amuse me and I think I’d like to try one at some point.
About Touched To the Heart
Discover beautiful South Africa in this sweet, heart-warming Cinderella story about a blogger, a billionaire, and one chance meeting.
When it comes to men, if physiotherapist Caitlin Sutherland didn’t have bad luck, she would have no luck at all. To help cope, Caitlin starts blogging in her spare time, about the types of men she meets and the bad dates she goes on.
While on duty during the annual Wines to Whales bicycle race, a gorgeous, sweaty cyclist walks in and sets her hormones dancing. But he is Don Cavallo; one of the four Cavallo brothers—hotel tycoons, famous as much for their business skills as for the number of beauties regularly seen on their arms.
Don Cavallo has his own issues with the other sex. He has yet to find one who is interested in him and not in his money or hotels. But when this sexy physio puts her hands on his back she not only touches his body, but also his heart.
They’ve both been burned before, but neither of them can stop themselves from playing with fire.
‘Yes?’ she said, hoping her knees would not buckle underneath her. This close, he was even more overwhelming.
‘The massage I’ve just been given, is that what you usually do?’
Her face flamed, but she ignored it and squared her shoulders. ‘You have a back problem. I tried to ease your pain. That’s it.’
‘You haven’t answered my question. Is that the usual treatment your patients get?’
‘I…yes.’ She nodded and opened the door quickly. ‘I’m sorry if you didn’t like it.’
He smiled. This time her knees did buckle and she gripped the door more firmly. His smile was devastating.
‘I didn’t say I didn’t like it.’ He bent down till his face was centimetres from hers. ‘As you very well know, I liked it just fine,’ he said, his brown eyes dark.
About the Author
I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I “met” the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.
I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty’s Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!
I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.